U.S. Rep. Maria Salazar (R-FL) was joined by a Democrat colleague when she pitched amnesty for millions of illegal aliens during an appearance on Fox News Wednesday.
Congress is currently negotiating over a solution to the border crisis, which has seen record numbers of illegal aliens stream into the country in 2022 and 2023. House Republicans have demanded an end to the open border and significant funding for border security in exchange for foreign aid packages, including military aid to Ukraine.
A number of Republicans in the Senate have been pitching an amnesty deal, however, according to a report from Breitbart News. The conservative Immigration Accountability Project leaked an apparent draft version of the legislation that would increase green card handouts to 50,000 annually, would only allow deportations if encounters exceed 5,000 over a period of seven days and grant tens of thousands of work permits. Senator James Lankford (R-OK), who is working as the lead Republican negotiator on a bill, has denied the validity of the report.
Rep. Salazar appeared to endorse such an idea while flanked by Rep. Hillary Scholten (D-MI) on Wednesday, however. The deal endorsed by Salazar would earmark $25 billion for border security, end catch and release, expedite asylum processing, institute mandatory E-Verify and provide tens of thousands of H-2A visas.
“It’s very important because it’s the only bill in Congress that is bipartisan and not only that, it accomplishes exactly what the country needs. To seal the border, secure the border, and once that is done, once that border is secured, then we look back and we give some type of dignity to those people who have been here for more than five years, who are contributing to our economy,” she said. “Like my colleague said, this dignity is not an immigration reform law. This is a national security, it’s an economic bill. Because you know that the business sector is saying, we need hands. Those hands are here, we just need to legalize them. I’m not talking about citizenship, I’m talking about dignity.”
Salazar concluded that the bill was not about “amnesty,” but “dignity.”
“This bill has the only bipartisan support. I just want to underscore that, you know, there have been a number of resolutions, a number of bills put forward. This is the only bipartisan bill in Congress right now,” Scholten added, clarifying that it is a different bill than the one passed by Republicans late last year.